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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Best Protein Powders for Women

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Are you looking for the best protein powders for women on the market today? This post will help you understand what to look for when buying a protein powder and what to avoid so that you’re fueling your body with the healthiest most natural ingredients. 

Protein is one of the most important nutrients you can eat: it’s essential to healthy muscles, connective tissues, hormones, enzymes, bones, hair and nails. It can help with building muscle and strength, aiding weight loss, keeping your blood sugar stable, and, for women especially: protein is important to keep bones strong and minimize the density loss that can happen due to age.

But all protein sources aren’t healthy, and sometimes it’s hard to get enough healthy protein throughout the day. That is why so many of us might turn to protein powders – which can be a convenient way to get some extra protein! The problem is, most protein powders on the market are high in sugar, contain a laundry list of processed ingredients, have heavy metals, fake sugars, and contain artificial sweeteners and flavors. You’re looking for a healthy protein boost, and instead you’re getting a dose of processed junk. It can be so confusing to figure out what is the best protein powder when you’re standing in front of a large display of protein powders all claiming to be the healthiest one for you.

That’s where this guide comes in! Here are my picks for the best protein powders for women on the market today. Below you’ll find a list of the best protein powders by type (plant based, whey, casein, etc.), and later on in this post I give details on what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to finding the best protein powder for you!

Best Vegan Protein Powders for Women

Plant-based protein (provided it’s heavy metal free), is the best protein for women who are following a vegan diet. Use the protein powders below if you want a vegan protein option, and want some fiber along with your protein powder. Some of the options below have superfoods added – which is a great choice if you want a vegan protein option with some healthy greens and antioxidant rich foods included.

Performance Lab Sport Protein

best protein powders - performance lab vegan protein

This might be the best protein powder for women on the market today. It is vegan, gluten-free, allergen friendly, organic, non-GMO and free of anything artificial. It has added probiotics that help with protein absorption, and their specially formulated Oryzatein® organic whole brown rice grain protein absorbs 30% faster than whey!  1 serving has 100 calories, 1g fiber, 20g protein. They have an ongoing “Buy 3, Get 1 free” discount too!

 

Pros
Certified organic, 100% plant based
Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free
Clinically shown to be as effective as whey for increasing lean muscle mass
No artificial sweeteners or ingredients
Has added probiotics
Free of heavy metals
Designed for building muscle, improving endurance, supporting exercise recovery
Cons
Slightly on the more expensive end of protein powders
Buy Now

Nutiva Plant Protein

nutiva plant protein powder - best protein powders for women

Organic, Non-GMO, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, No Artificial Sweeteners, No Stevia, Has Probiotics and Superfoods Added. 1 serving has 110 calories, 2g fiber, 22g protein.

 

Pros
Organic, Vegan, Non-GMO
Soy-Free, Gluten-Free
No artificial sweeteners including Stevia
Added probiotics and Superfoods
Low in calories at 110; High in protein at 22 grams
Best tasting protein powder for women – many reviewers enjoy the flavor
Cons
Some reviews have commented that the company has changed their vitamin and mineral density which is less than what it used to be
Buy On Amazon

Truvani Plant Based Protein Powder

truvani vanilla protein powder - best protein powders for women

Comes in two flavors, Vanilla and Chocolate. Only 5 ingredients, plant-based, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, 100% Organic, Vegan, No Artificial Sweeteners, No Stevia, No Added Sugars and No Heavy Metals. 1 serving has 130 calories, 2g fiber, 20g protein.

Pros
Plant-Based Protein
Soy-Free, Gluten-Free
Organic, Vegan
No added sugars or heavy metals
Low in calories at 130, and high in protein at 20 grams
Cons
More expensive than the average protein powder
Some say it has a strong aftertaste
Buy On Amazon

Your Super

your super plant protein - best protein powders for women

Organic, Non-GMO, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, No Artificial Sweeteners, No Stevia, Has Probiotics and Superfoods Added. 1 serving has 50 calories, 2g fiber, 9g protein.

 

Pros
Organic, Non-GMO
Soy-Free
Superfoods added
No added sugar or sweeteners
Low calorie
Cons
Low protein compared to others at 9 grams
Buy Now

Tejari Protein + Superfood Blends

tejari protein powder - best protein powders for kids

Tejari blends are made with organic pea protein, superfoods like turmeric and cinnamon, and fruit. All blends are organic, vegan, plant-based (peanut-free and dairy-free), free of toxins and artificial sweeteners, and tested for heavy metals. They come in 3 delicious flavors: Golden Banana, Strawberry, and Blueberry + Spinach. Each serving has 100 calories, 8g protein, 3g fiber and 0g added sugars.

Pros
Vegan and plant-based protein
Peanut & dairy free
No artificial sweeteners or sugar
Tested for heavy metals
One of the best tasting protein powders for women – according to reviews
Cons
Relatively low amount of protein compared to other brands at 8 grams
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Best Whey Protein for Women

Whey protein is considered a complete protein source as it contains all 9 amino acids. It’s also a great post-workout supplement. Use this if you are trying to lose weight or build muscle and are ok with dairy.

Natural Force Whey Protein – Unflavored Variety

natural force whey protein powder - best protein powders for women

Only one ingredient in the unflavored version: Organic Whey Protein. From grass fed cows that graze on pasture year-round. 100% Organic, Non-GMO, Keto and Paleo friendly, American Humane Certified. No artificial sweeteners or sugars, 3rd party tested for quality & purity. 1 serving has 100 calories, 0g fiber, 20g protein. Out of all the whey protein options I researched, this one came out as the best whey protein for women.

Pros
Simple, one ingredient, unflavored
Whey from grass fed cows
Organic, Non-GMO
Keto and Paleo friendly
No added sugars or sweeteners
High in protein at 20 grams
Cons
No fiber
Not a good choice for vegans or those with a dairy allergy
Buy On Amazon

Best Collagen Protein Powders

When it comes to collagen, there are two types: Bovine and Marine Collagen. Both are great for hair, skin, nails, joint and gut health. These can be considered the best protein for women who are ok with animal protein and want a low-calorie/high protein option that also benefits hair/skin/nails/etc.

Truvani Marine Collagen

truvani marine collagen - best protein powders for women

Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free. Uses wild-caught, mercury-free fish, Type I, II, and III collagen. Heavy metal free. 1 serving has 54 calories, 0g fiber, 11g protein. If you wanted closer to 20g protein, just use 2 servings which would get you 108 calories and 22g protein.

Pros
Non-GMO
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free
Wild Caught Fish
Free of heavy metals
Type I, II, and III collagen
Only 54 calories
Cons
No Fiber
Not suitable for vegans or vegetarians
Buy On Amazon

Collagen Peptides

collagen peptides - best protein powders for women

Grass-Fed, Non-GMO, Paleo-Friendly, Gluten-Free. Type I and III collagen. 1 serving has 40 calories, 0g fiber, 10g protein. This is nice because if you wanted to get less protein, you have the option to use just 1 serving; but if you wanted the more standard 20g protein (that other protein powders for women have), you just have to use 2 scoops which will still run you only 80 calories.

Pros
Grass fed cows
Non-GMO
Low Calorie
No Sugar
Flavorless, many ways to incorporate into your diet
Cons
No added fiber
Not certified organic
Type I and III collagen, whereas marine collagen has three types
Not suitable for vegans or vegetarians
Buy On Amazon

Vital Proteins Collagen

vital proteins collagen - best protein powders for women

Grass-Fed, Pasture-Raised, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Sugar-Free, Whole 30 approved. Type I and III collagen. 1 serving has 70 calories, 0g fiber, and 18g protein.

Pros
High in protein at 18 grams
Only 70 calories per serving
Grass-Fed Cows
No sugar
Added Vitamin C
Flavorless, many ways to incorporate into your diet
Cons
Not certified organic
No Fiber
Type I and III collagen, whereas marine collagen has three types
Not suitable for vegans or vegetarians
Buy On Amazon

Best Multi-Collagen Protein

This type of collagen includes collagen from cows, chickens, fish and eggs – to offer types I, II, III, V and X. It supports healthy hair, skin, nails, gut health, immune health. The two protein powders below are a great option if you’re looking for the most comprehensive collagen supplement out there, and are ok with eating animal protein.

Wholesome Wellness

wholesome wellness collagen protein - best protein powders for women

Type I, II, III, V, X collagen. Grass-fed, certified wild (for the fish), 3rd party tested for purity, no added sugars, Organic, Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, Raw, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Paleo approved. 1 serving has 30 calories, 0g fiber, and 7g protein. Even if you wanted to get 20g protein, you could still stay relatively low on calories and triple the serving (3 scoops = 90 calories, 21g protein)

Pros
Contains 5 types of collagen, I, II, III, V, X (more than bovine or marine collagens)
Sourced from grass fed cows and wild caught fish
Organic, Non-GMO
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free
No added sugar
Only 30 calories per serving (fewest among all collagen powders)
Unflavored, easily incorporate into your diet
Cons
No Fiber
Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans
Buy On Amazon

Ancient Nutrition

ancient nutrition collagen - best protein powders for women

Type I, II, III, V, X collagen. Free of antibiotics, growth hormones and chemicals, Keto-friendly, grass-fed/pasture-raised/wild, no added sugars or sweeteners. 1 serving has 35 calories, 0g fiber, 9g protein. To get closer to 20g protein, just double the serving size (2 scoops = 70 calories, 18g protein).

Pros
Contains 5 types of collagen, I, II, III, V, X (more than bovine or marine collagens)
Sourced from grass fed cows and wild caught fish
Organic, Non-GMO
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free
No added sugar
Only 35 calories per serving
Unflavored, easy to incorporate into diet
Cons
No Fiber
Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans
Buy On Amazon

Best Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein can be a great option for women who are looking for a vegan protein powder with just one ingredient, that is also high in fiber.

Nutiva Hemp Protein

nutiva hemp protein - best protein powders for women

Just hemp, no added ingredients. Organic, non-GMO, certified vegan. Note: hemp protein is allergen free, high in omega 3s and easily digested. But it is low in the essential amino acids lysine and leucine. 1 serving has 80 calories, 12g fiber, 11g protein.

Pros
One ingredient, hemp
Organic, Non-GMO
Certified Vegan
Allergen free
High in Omega 3s
High in fiber
Cons
Low in two essential amino acids lysine and leucine
Mid range amount of protein per serving
May not be the best tasting protein powder for women: Many consumers are not a fan of the flavor saying it tastes grassy
Buy On Amazon

Best Nut Butter Protein Powder

Nut butter protein (powdered peanut butter or powdered almond butter) are some of the best tasting protein powders for women on the market today. Both are made from nuts that have been pressed to remove the oil, and then ground into a fine powder. So you end up with a concentrated source of protein without the added calories and fat that are in regular nut butter. Peanut or almond protein can the best protein for women who are looking for an all-natural, vegan, tasty protein powder with only 1 ingredient.

NorCal Organic

norcal organic peanut butter protein - best protein powders for women

100% Organic, Non-GMO, Vegan, One Ingredient, No added sugars or sweeteners. 1 serving has 100 calories, 4g fiber, 11g protein.

Pros
Organic, Non-GMO
Contains only peanuts
No added sugar, sweeteners, or preservatives
Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
Low fat at 3 grams
Many ways to incorporate it into your diet besides smoothies
Cons
Higher in calories than other protein powders (calorie-to-protein ratio is high)
Not suitable for those with nut allergies
Buy On Amazon

Naked PB Powder

naked pb powder - best protein powders for women

One ingredient, Non-GMO, No added sugar, Dairy, Soy, Sugar and Preservative free. 1 serving has 50 calories, 2g fiber, 6g protein.

Pros
Only one ingredient
Non-GMO, Vegan
No added sugar, sweeteners, or preservatives
Dairy-Free, Soy-Free
Free of heavy metals
Many ways to incorporate it into your diet besides smoothies
Cons
Higher in calories than other protein powders (calorie-to-protein ratio is high)
Not suitable for those with nut allergies
Buy On Amazon

Barney’s Powdered Almond Butter

Barney's Powdered Almond Butter - best protein powders for women

Non-GMO, one simple ingredient, certified gluten-free. 1 serving has 45 calories and 6g protein.

Pros
Non-GMO, Vegan
Made in peanut free facility
Only one simple ingredient, almonds
No added sugar or sweeteners
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free
Only 1 gram of fat per serving
Many ways to incorporate it into your diet besides smoothies
Cons
Not organic
Calorie-to-protein ratio is on the higher side (90 calories = 12g protein)
Buy On Amazon

Best Casein Protein Powder

Casein is typically digested more slowly than whey, so it will keep you fuller longer. It’s a good option if you are trying to lose weight, recover from a workout, and are ok with dairy.

Naked Casein

Naked Casein - best protein powders for women

Only one ingredient, Non-GMO, Gluten-free, Soy free, No rBGH and No rBST. 1 serving has 110 calories, 0g fiber, 26g protein.

 

Pros
Non-GMO
Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
No added sugars or sweeteners
One of the highest amount of protein per serving at 26 grams
Cons
Not suitable for vegans
Not suitable for those with a dairy allergy
No Fiber
Buy On Amazon

Best Egg White Protein

This can be a good option if you are looking for a protein powder to help with recovering from a workout, but don’t want to use whey or casein.

Muscle Egg

muscle egg white protein powder - best protein powders for women

Certified organic, paleo friendly, keto friendly. 1 serving has 110 calories, 0g fiber, 26g protein.

Pros
Certified Organic
Paleo and Keto friendly
One of the highest amount of protein per serving at 26 grams
No added sugars or sweeteners
Cons
Not suitable for vegans or those with an egg allergy
No fiber
Buy On Amazon

One Note on Taste: Truvani Vanilla and Truvani Chocolate are sweetened with Monk Fruit, so they don’t need to be sweetened further with fruit/etc. (although you can certainly mix them with any fruits you like!) The rest of the protein powders on this list are unflavored, so I’d recommend mixing them into other recipes like smoothies, oatmeal, or you can even mix them into pancakes, baked goods, etc.

So what should you be looking for and what should you avoid when it comes to protein powders?

Ingredients to Avoid in Protein Powders for Women:

  • No heavy metals: A recent study done by Consumer Reports discovered that arsenic, lead, cadmim, mercury, and toxins such as BPA were found in many popular protein supplements. These substances should be avoided as they have been linked to cancer, brain damage, and reproductive problems. 
  • No artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners are chemicals. While they don’t contain added calories, they trick your body into craving more sugar or artificial ingredients which then causes you to consume even more calories. They have also been shown to cause addictive tendencies. Artificial sweeteners guise under many names lookout for the following ingredients…
    • Aspartame sold as NutraSweet, Equal, or Sugar Twin,
    • Acesulfame potassium sold as Sunnet or Sweet One
    • Aspartame-acesulfame salt, sold as TwinSweet
    • Neotame, sold under the brand name Newtame.
    • Saccharin, sold as Sweet’N Low, Sweet Twin, or Necta Sweet.
    • Sucralose, sold as Splenda
  • No Stevia: While Stevia has been called a natural sweetener, it is still one you should avoid. It’s been linked to causing low blood pressure which is cause for concern for those who are on blood pressure medication. There is also research being conducted that certain naturally occurring chemicals found in Stevia could be linked to genetic mutations and cancer. 
  • No added sugar: Just like you want to avoid artificial sweeteners, you also want to avoid regular added sugar. Sugar is addictive. The more we eat the more we crave. Try finding a protein powder that is naturally sweetened. Monk fruit as a natural sweetener is ok. 
  • No processed isolated soy: Soy isolate protein is derived when the soybean undergoes processing to strip its nutrients and “isolate” the protein. Not only is isolated soy-protein likely GMO, it can have hormonal effects, contain heavy metals, and the method used to isolate the protein can form nitrites which can be carcinogenic.

Qualities to look for in the Best Protein Powders for Women 

The best protein for women on my list meet these criteria:

  • Organic whenever possible, otherwise grass-fed/non-GMO: Organic protein powders are best since you’ll be less likely to consume harmful pesticide residue. If you’re buying a protein powder that contains dairy or grain look for one that is grass-fed/non-GMO. This means that the livestock was given all organic, hormone and GMO free feed. This means that those hormones, GMOs are not passed down to you through the protein powder.
  • Non GMO-GMOs are genetically engineered crops that are made to be resistant to Round-Up and produce their own insecticide. The challenge is that glyphosate is likely carcinogenic to humans. 
  • No added sugars, no sweeteners, no artificial flavors or ingredients, no preservatives, no soy and heavy-metal tested.
best protein powders for women - assortment of plant based, collagen, whey protein powder options

What are the different Types of Protein Powders for Women?

  • Plant-Based (Plain): These types of protein powders are typically made with pea protein, chia seeds, or other high protein plant sources. The main thing here is to make sure they are tested for heavy metals before using them. Most plant-based protein powders will include a variety of plant proteins so that they contain all 9 essential amino acids (since no one plant protein source has all 9 by itself). Use this if you want a vegan protein option, and want some fiber along with your protein powder.
  • Plant-Based (with Superfoods included): In addition to protein, a plant-based protein powder with superfoods also includes the addition of greens such as moringa, spirulina, alfalfa, spinach, or other superfood fruits and vegetables. Use this if you want a vegan protein option with some healthy greens and antioxidant rich foods included.
  • Whey: Whey protein is one of two proteins that milk is made from. The other being casein. Whey can be separated from casein or formed as a by-product of the cheese making process. It is considered a complete protein source as it contains all 9 amino acids. Whey is low in lactose, and is primarily used to build muscle – it’s a great post-workout supplement. Use this if you are trying to lose weight or build muscle and are ok with dairy.
  • Casein Protein Powder: Casein is another protein found in milk. It also contains all 9 essential amino acids. Casein is typically digested more slowly than whey, so it will keep you fuller longer. Many people also take it before bed to help with work-out/daily recovery while they sleep. Use this if you are trying to lose weight, recover from a workout, and are ok with dairy.
  • Bovine Collagen: Bovine collagen is a flavorless powder that is derived from cow hides. It contains mostly Type I and Type III collagen. It can be made into two forms that are suitable for consumption (gelatin and hydrolyzed). It is said to benefit skin, hair, joint, and gut health. Use this if: you are ok with animal protein and want a low-calorie/high protein option that also benefits hair/skin/nails/etc.
  • Marine Collagen: As the name suggests, marine collagen is a flavorless powder made from the skin and scales of fish. It contains mostly Type I collagen, and is great for skin, hair and joints. Use this if: you don’t want to use bovine collagen, are ok with eating fish, and want a low-calorie/high protein option that also benefits hair/skin/nails/etc.
  • Multi-Collagen: Multi-Collagen protein includes hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides, chicken bone broth collagen concentrate, hydrolyzed fish collagen peptides and eggshell membrane collagen, offering collagen Type I, II, III, V and X. It supports healthy hair, skin, nails, gut health, immune health. Use this if: you’re ok with eating animal protein, and want a low-calorie/high protein option that is the most comprehensive with all types of collagen included.
  • Hemp: Hemp is a complete protein that contains all 9 amino acids, fiber, healthy fats, and minerals. It is made by grinding hemp seeds into a fine powder. Use this if: You want a plant based protein that is very high in fiber.
  • Peanut Butter Protein: Peanut butter protein powder is made from roasted peanuts that have been pressed to remove the oil and then ground into a fine powder. What you’re left with is the protein and fiber of the peanut without the monounsaturated fat. Peanut Butter protein is great for adding to smoothies, oatmeal, and typical foods you’d add protein powder to, but it’s also great as a mix-in for curries and stews. Use this if: You want more of a “nutty” flavor to whatever you are adding your protein powder to.
  • Almond Butter Protein: Almond butter protein is made in the same was as peanut butter protein. With the oil being pressed out of the almond you’re left with the protein. Use this if: You want more of a “nutty” flavor to whatever you are adding your protein powder to, but don’t want to use peanuts.
  • Egg White Protein: Egg white protein powder is literally just dried egg whites. It’s lower in carbs than whey protein, and digests at a rate somewhere in between whey and casein. Use this if you are trying to recover from a workout, and don’t want to eat whey or casein.

What is the best protein for women in aiding weight loss?

Consuming enough protein is essential when you’re goal is weight loss. Protein helps you feel fuller longer. It helps you build muscle and boost your metabolism. Whey protein has been shown to have the edge when it comes to weight loss. People who consumed whey protein at breakfast, compared to those that consumed other types of protein such as eggs, tuna, or soy lost more weight (about 4 pounds on average) over the course of 6 months. 

Whey is best for weight loss because it contains higher amounts of leucine (one of the amino acids) that helps build muscle. It also aids in muscle recovery. Potentially this helps individuals return to the gym which also aids in weight loss. 

While there are many different types of protein powders on the market, you can’t go wrong with any of the protein powders on this list. Depending on whether you’re looking for a plant-based option, or a protein to aid in weight loss, or something to help with hair/skin health, this guide will help you to find the best protein powder for you! I hope this post helped point you in the right direction of a protein powder that’s best for your diet and needs!

Check out these other healthy food / grocery store guides!

10 responses to “Best Protein Powders for Women”

    • Hi Priscilla! It’s not bad but it’s just not one of my favorites mainly because they use both stevia and sugar alcohols for sweetening, and they have “natural flavors” included as well. I also don’t know the results of their heavy metals testing. One of the protein powders on my list will likely be more “pure” in terms of ingredients. Hope that helps!

      • Yes. Thank you. I am taking Orgain right now since it is available in Costco. I plan to switch to one of the above. So I am definitely looking for plant-based protein powder. But if I were to get the Truvani – can my kids 4.5yrs and 3 yrs take that as well? I would have gone for Nutiva since it has extra superfoods but if Truvani can be given to kids also then I will get that one and we all share.

      • Hi Priscilla! Yes Truvani should be fine for kids! I’d just give them a half dose since they probably don’t need 20g protein in every smoothie! 🙂

  1. Hi! My son who is turning 4 has never been a huge milk drinker. What are your thoughts on orgain kids for protein? Also what do you recommend for protein in take and also calcium for his age? Thank you!

    • Hi Karen! Kids aged 4-8 need about 19 grams of protein per day, and 1,000 mg of calcium a day. I wouldn’t recommend Orgain Kids – it has 13g sugar per serving – more than a fun sized Milky Way bar! Way way too much for kids. Instead, I’d try Earthshake Organic Protein which is a much healthier option that has 140 calories and 8g protein per serving (the same amount of protein per serving as the Orgain Kids drink you asked about)! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  2. This is an amazing evaluation! Thank you for taking the time to research and share.

    Will you present a sequel on the taste, please?
    It could be a few people’s opinions or some general description. If it doesn’t taste good, I don’t drink it. I’m not alone in this desire for practical application.

    Perhaps a suggestion of 1/2 banana, avacado, or other healthy flavors might be welcomed in an opinion poll. Most healthy protein powders are on the pricey side adding reservation with not knowing how it tastes.
    Thank you for your consideration..

    • Hi MaryAnne! I’m so glad this was helpful to you! Regarding taste – that’s a great point – I’d recommend mixing all of these into smoothies, oatmeal or other recipes. I added some notes about taste and recommendations for mixing in the post so hopefully that helps! Thanks!

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